Tourism B.C. scores spot on ‘The Office’

The B.C. government doled out millions of bucks to NBC for an ad campaign, including a mention on...

The B.C. government doled out millions of bucks to NBC for an ad campaign, including a mention on hit sitcom The Office. (FILE PHOTO)

BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:32 AM ET

BRITISH COLUMBIA - B.C.’s government budgeted US$17.255 million for an Olympic tourism advertising campaign on NBC and the package included a mention on The Office.

Documents obtained under Freedom of Information show a Nov. 25, 2009, government-approved budget for advertising agency Vizeum Canada listed “program integration in The Office” as an element of the purchase.

The Feb. 11 episode of the hit sitcom opened with Michael Scott (Steve Carell) calling a Vancouver hotel to confirm his reservation for the first week of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

The Office also produced a Tribute to Canada video with Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) singing: “Prince Edward Island’s very small but British Columbia tops them all! (That’s where Vancouver is.)”

The NBC deal also included prime time, late night, daytime and weekend ads during February’s Games; a 20-second B.C. fun facts feature; prime time ads in March; and naming rights for the Destination B.C. section of NBCOlympics.com.

Tourism B.C. agreed to forward Vizeum US$17.5 million for an “incremental tourism marketing” initiatives trust account, according to the Nov. 16, 2009 contract.

The government decided to spend $38.6 million of taxpayers’ funds last fall on the You Gotta Be Here campaign after slashing budgets for community arts and sports.

The ads starred Michael J. Fox, Sarah McLachlan and Steve Nash.


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